By Ntombi Nkosi
As more allegations against Health Minister Zweli Mkhize surface around the controversial multi-million Rand Digital Vibes communications tender, political parties are calling for his head.
But President Cyril Ramaphosa said he is waiting for the conclusion of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report.
Mkhize this week conceded that the R150 million contract was irregular, but claimed that he had not personally benefited from it. He said he did not declare any conflict of interest because he did not believe there was one.
In the latest twist, it has been reported that Digital Vibes allegedly made at least two payments to a contractor for maintenance and repair work at a Johannesburg property owned by Mkhize’s ZLM Trust.
COPE said on Saturday that Ramaphosa must not use the SIU investigation as a delay tactic.
“This time it is on serious allegations against Mkhize involved in tender irregularities at the Health Department. Again, the president says he will wait for the SIU final investigations report,” said COPE national spokesperson Dennis Bloem..
Bloem said the latest allegations against Mkhize are damning and he cannot be allowed to continue working as a minister with damning allegations over his head and that he should be fired immediately as his reputation and integrity were now questionable.
“We reject the notion of what Mkhize called ‘allegations of irregular and fruitless expenditure on the contract of Digital Vibes’. It is daylight corruption and in fact criminal charges must be laid against all who are involved.
“COPE reiterates our call to Ramaphosa to fire Mkhize and demonstrate to the country that he is serious about fighting corruption. We will not get tired of fighting against corruption. We will not rest until we see all the corrupt thieves behind bars,” said Bloem.
Former Nelson Mandela Bay municipal councillor, Andile Lungisa says there is an orchestrated ploy against Mkhize and he is ready to defend him.
“Everyone in South Africa is happy with the work done by the minister especially now during the pandemic, but recently with all the vaccine debates, we witness the media which is owned by the White Monopoly Capital is now attacking the minister daily. We must not allow attacks on the minister, I always side with the weak,” said Lungisa in a television interview. IOL